The last trip promised to be good and eventful. With the previous trip having everything organized, the transition between groups went very quickly and we were able to get on the water very early. The weather had also cleared up providing for some sunshine as we paddled across Grand Lake to our 1st portage on the Barron River. We very quickly realized that we had plenty of strength for our portages, as the 1st lift over went very quickly. We also saw a prediction of an eventful trip as one canoe got very stuck in the creek following the portage and we saw Nick donate his sunglasses to Stratton Lake as he went to relax on the back of the canoe.
This was followed by log rodeo and a crazy game of battle slugs at camp. A sign that maybe we should have made this day a bit longer. Dinner was as many burgers and hot dogs as you could possibly eat, which the group did. Everything was gone, although we found out later that they had stolen some hot dogs to roast over their own fire. Unfortunately, they could never get it going long enough to actually roast any hot dogs.
The 2nd day started off gorgeous and sunny. This was going to be our longest day, as we were travelling on 5 lakes and 4 portages (totaling 1500 m), as well as, a side trip to the water slides at High Falls. Now continuing on the theme of eventful, this day didn't disappoint. We started out by having to repack Troy, because we think he did bring the kitchen sink. We were not sure whether he would survive the 1st portage of the day (45 m). Then Nicole of the famous canoe that got stuck in the creek on day 1 decided to test the waters of High Falls Lake. To her defence, she had a choice, go down with the canoe or abort ship and save the canoe, she did save the canoe. As we hiked to the falls, it was another member of the same canoe that rolled her ankle just before the really rocky and uneven part of the hike. To her defence, she went on without a single complaint, even carrying more on the last portage than some of our lads.
To add to the fun, it was the 1st time ever that our school was forced to take a different campsite on Opalescent Lake and not camp on the best site ever (just had to rub it in). The next site was not badly set up and allowed us to use a great tarp structure to keep us sheltered from the tremendous amount of rain that would fall on us for the next 12 hours. It was the only heavy extended rain on all 3 trips, but we can't complain, as the spaghetti was great and the sun came out in the morning.
The rain ended about 9 in the morning and was followed by two hours of sunshine. We decide that we would delay our departure for the Barron Canyon until the afternoon to give us some time to dry things out a little. Some tents had been supporting a swimming pool. The weather stayed as unpredictable as ever, after a great game of 'lick the stick' the winds picked up like crazy. It was an extreme paddle across little Opalescent Lake to our longest portage of the trip. The 760 m portage however flew by as the everyone worked together really well. The next two portages went quick and we were in the Barron Canyon in no time.
This is where it got interesting again. After loading up with some candy and chocolate, and some wood, we enjoyed a sunny paddle through the 100 m high canyon. It was just before the end of the canyon and about 1 km from our last campsite that Scott and Patrick decided to throw the wood, along with the saw, into the water. In their defence however, they also threw themselves and their canoe into the Barron River as well. Rumour has it that another canoe rammed them. The funny thing is that Scott actually bounced off the water into another canoe and Patrick's clothes never even got wet even though he fully went in.
The boys were put in dry clothes and we proceeded to our final campsite. Camp was set quickly, wood was gathered and dinner was made. Dinner was a wonderful spread of fajitas and Jiffy Pop for dessert. The evening was nice and peaceful as most people retreated to their tents early.
The next morning presented the most beautiful day of the trip. With a perfect blue sky, we were greeted by a super friendly little fox. He hung around for about an half hour, even helping Branden get out of bed. With a simple final breakfast, we enjoyed the sunshine and short paddle back to the bus. What a great way to end a wonderful trip.